Special Report: When losing becomes a habit

Posted: 12/11/2011 by bc in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

First the good news. Lubomir Visnovsky is due back this week. I don’t have a new report on his fingers but he was scheduled to be out for a month and it’s now been a month since Lubo went on IR.

We’ll dispense with the usual PostGame PostUp for a series of Special Reports concerning this prolonged slump. We lost to Nashville 3-2. The game turned on another unbelievably bad call. The Refs were struck with temporary blindness when Jordan Tootoo hooked and tripped Brandon McMillan. They recovered their vision miraculously when Lil Mac gave Tootoo a tap with his stick. I mean it was so innocuous that Tootoo started to embellish but thought better of it and immediately rejoined the play. Players all know that Refs rarely get the initial infraction but always see retaliation but Jeez Louise when a player stops the bad acting you’d think the Ref would have the sense to let it go. Apparently, that level of quality officiating has escaped the NHL.
Under new coach Bruce Boudreau we’ve gone 1-3-1. Comparatively, since firing their respective coaches the Caps are 3-3 and on a two game win streak; Carolina is 1-5 and St. Louis has gone 10-2-4 since hiring Ken Hitchcock. Overall the results from coaching changes are mixed. While it’s too soon to grade the coaching changes, it’s very fair to opine that the changes have failed to produce an immediate positive result in Anaheim and Carolina.

Twice, once as a coach and once as a player, I got picked up by winless hockey teams after the mid-season point. As a coach I did exactly what Bruce Boudreau has done. I showed them I believed in them. As a player, I got lucky and scored the only goal in a 3-1 loss during my first game. After the game I said this didn’t look like a winless team to me. Obviously, I earned their respect. In each case the team’s turned it around doing exactly what Bruce Boudreau with our Ducks.

In the two most recent seasons, our Ducks turned around poor starts after a couple of guys got hot and carried an otherwise mediocre team into the playoffs. What is going on right now is that our core guys, Getzlaf, Perry, Ryan and Hiller are having off seasons together. Consequently, losing has now become a habit. Our Ducks aren’t playing like a team that even hopes to win.

When this happens you can’t take your props from wins and losses. In fact you pretty much have to ignore the mounting losses. You change the focus to a play at a time. What the guys need Gabby right now is immediate positive reinforcement during the games. He’s too quite. When somebody makes a good play Gabby and his assistants have to point that out to the guys on the bench. These guys are so beat down right now that only a constant and consistent stream of positive reinforcement is going turn this rut into a groove. It starts one play at a time. It then becomes a good shift and grows out from there.

Because we walk our talk around here, tonight’s Tweet of the Game goes to:

Eric Stephens
icemancomethEric Stephens
Selanne’s 1,369th point ties Bruins legend Johnny Bucyk on NHL all-time scoring list.
  1. czhokej says:

    I must say that we have played a really bad game last night. Quite often our fourth line looked better on the ice than our top trio. Our FO% was 35%. Getzy did not have a shot on goal. We have created very few scoring chances. I was so disappointed, and I do not know what to say. Ellis was quite good.

  2. bbdux93 says:

    Taking from BC comment in an earlier post “Offense sells tickets, Defense wins championships”, we have neither. IMO the scoring will happen but I’m not so sure about the defense. Getting Vish back will be a help, but even with him we are just not a strong enough defensively to win many games.

    It does concern me that coach is more inclined to push the offense – is he not seeing what I see. Our defense is thin and our forwards do not – or can not – do enough to protect against opposing teams in our defensive zone. That big trade I was thinking would come in the off season should have come and should have been for a Big, Nasty attitude D man.

  3. tearingitup says:

    I did not think putting Selanne on the Getz line worked for very long. Nash was able to adjust and we ended up with all the eggs in one basket. Like CZ mentioned the fourth did well, but we give up at least three goals a game and score two….odds on favorite that you end up losing with that scenario. The second line with Ryan looks like a glimmer of hope for me.

  4. BackCheck says:

    Exactly guys. When Gabby sent out Selanne with the Twins, Trotz countered by reuniting Weber & Suter on the back line. That’s a perfect scenario for the secondary scoring to step up but it didn’t happen.

    @bbdux93, I genuinely fear Bob Murray orchestrating trades involving our core players. It took Chicago years to recover. Part of that was Wirtz and Pulford but Murray was the GM when Chicago traded Roenick for what’s his name and Chris Chelios for whose-its and a couple of picks who were never heard from again. Other than Whitney for Visnovsky, Bob Murray’s Ducks trades have been, to be polite about it, less than stellar.

  5. bbdux93 says:

    Off topic – sorta’

    At tsn.com I read there is a rumor the Kings will fire Terry Murray this week. Let’s hope they hire Carlyle to replace him, which should help to finish them as a contendor. Using his now famous system, they can experience loosing that becomes a habit. LOL

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